Market Commentary – Elmbridge
The Borough of Elmbridge is often described as one of the best places to live in the UK. Sitting just 17 miles southwest of central London, this leafy corner of Surrey has been the preferred destination of many city workers and footballers since the mid-1990s. Indeed, Esher, Cobham, Walton and Weybridge make up the ‘Surrey golden-triangle’ and are home to some of the largest and most desirable modern built houses in the country.
One of the main appeals of Elmbridge is its proximity to London whilst being surrounded by the Surrey countryside. It also offers easy access to both Heathrow and Gatwick airport, some of the country’s top schools, boutique shopping, fine restaurants and quaint village settings. It is particularly well-known for its beautiful landscapes, large homes (the average house has 6.1 bedrooms), generous gardens and celebrity residents. With Chelsea FC’s main training ground in Stoke D’Abernon, it’s no surprise that Cobham and Oxshott hold the title for the ‘villages with the most footballers in England’.
These factors have made Elmbridge the most expensive borough outside of London, with 37% of homes priced at £1m or more and the average price of property in Oxshott standing at £1,432,272. Last year Zoopla declared Elmbridge the third best place in the UK for house price growth over the last 20 years, with house prices having increased almost fourfold since 2000. In the last 10 years alone – since May 2011 – property prices have increased in the borough by an average £220,300. On top of this long-term growth, the last two years have seen the area benefit from many homeowners reassessing how and where they want to live – a trend we expect to continue.
It is also a solid rental market, offering competitive yields, long term tenancies and minimal vacancies (in addition to footballers, many tenants in the golden triangle are international corporate executives who have been relocated on a 3-4 year basis).
The AmCap-RE Greater London Fund remains heavily invested in the Elmbridge residential market, focusing on 4-6 bedroom high end houses and quality long-term tenants. The fund’s properties in the region have an average yield of 3.5% on fair value, average tenancy of 2 years + and a 95% occupancy rate. This approach has served the portfolio’s value strategy well, providing steady returns through the turbulence of 2008, Brexit and the pandemic. As the uncertainty surrounding more recent events is put behind us, the fund intends to pursue more development opportunities in the area (amongst others) to complement its income portfolio.
Our senior executives have been investing in this market since the early 1980s and management intend to continue leveraging this experience for years to come.